THERE was no better way to mark a milestone than with a highly successful 25th annual sale for the Shirlee Downs and Dongadilling Poll Dorset and Prime SAMM studs on-property at Quairading last week.
A quarter of a century selling certainly has made the annual event one of the most attended on the calendar and this year 49 registered buyers battled it out to fulfil their season’s requirements.
The overall sale clearance and average was raised higher than the outstanding 2017 results, with the real shining star on the day being the Poll Dorset flock ram offering.
All the rams on offer across the shed were backed by impressive measurements in the catalogue and the top end of the sale saw strong competition with 250 rams in total snapped up by 45 of the registered buyers in attendance.
The conjunctional sale hosted by Landmark and Elders was this year conducted by Elders and auctioneer, Preston Clarke, said the overall result was excellent, especially considering the sheer number of rams in one venue from one vendor.
“From a selection point of view the Poll Dorsets were just exceptional from start to finish,” Mr Clarke said.
“The depth and quality of the rams was simply outstanding.
“They have a very loyal and supportive client base, which is always a great indication of proven results.
“I think the prices also reflected the current lamb market, boosting people’s confidence and contributing to the success of the sale.”
p Poll Dorset stud rams
To kick off the bidding it was the 10 Poll Dorset stud rams that went under the hammer first, with the $3100 top-priced ram going to long term stud clients Ted and Gail Hosking, Woodgrove Poll Dorset stud, Northampton.
The Hoskings have been Shirlee Downs/Dongadilling clients for more than 15 years and utilise the genetics within their own stud’s nucleus breeding flock.
The big, impressive top-priced ram exhibited Australian Standard Breeding Value (ASBV) figures of 0.35 birthweight (BWT), 15.3 post weaning weight (PWWT), -1.0 post weaning fat (PFAT), 2.1 post weaning eye muscle depth (PEMD) and a CarcasePlus index of 186.5.
The Hoskings purchased a total of three Poll Dorset rams from the stud selection for an average of $2100.
The Poll Dorset stud rams achieved a 100 per cent clearance under the hammer for an average of $2010.
p Flock Poll Dorset rams
This year it was the extensive line-up of 199 Poll Dorset flock rams that really saw strong competition pushing up figures across the board including clearances, prices achieved and averages.
The top price of $2300 was realised twice, with 197 lots sold and a selection of regular and new volume buyers featuring prominantly throughout the catalogue.
The sale’s consistent saturation of high volume, regular and repeat clients is a nod to the stud’s quality genetics and proven performance in their clients commercial prime lamb operations.
The $2300 top price was up by $350, from 2017, there were 27 more rams sold and the average of $1044 improved by $58 from last year.
The top-priced buyer of both rams at $2300 was John Walton, AD & RE Marshall, Lake Grace, who went on to purchase a total of 10 rams for an average of $1480.
The two top-priced flock rams were in pens 125 and 126 and exhibited measurements of 0.45 BWT, 16 PWWT, -0.9 PFAT, 2.2 PEMD and a CarcasePlus index 209.6 and 0.33 BWT, 15.2 PWWT, -0.6 PFAT, 1.9 PEMD and CarcasePlus of 201.
Mr Walton said they had been a regular at the sale for about three years and really liked the Poll Dorset flock rams as they were good all purpose sires.
“We find the lambs finish quickly and are able to hit the market at the right time, to get the best price,” he said.
“We utilise them over a mix of crossbred, Merino cross and straight Merino breeders and have been extremely happy with the progeny from previous years purchases.”
The overall volume purchaser in the flock Poll Dorset penning was regular Prime SAMM client, Scott Della Bosca, G & PM Della Bosca, North Bodallin, who had decided to purchase the Squiers’ Poll Dorsets to complement the Prime SAMM genetics they have purchased at the sale in the past.
“This is the fourth year we have purchased at the sale, but this year we bought Poll Dorsets to run with the Prime SAMMs,” Mr Della Bosca said.
“We want to get the growth rate of the lambs up quicker, to sell them quicker.”
Mr Della Bosca purchased a total of 21 rams, to a top of $1000, and an average of $871.
Another volume buyer, Daniel Bailey, Nukering Pastoral, Beverley, purchased 20 rams to a top of $1100 and an average of $910.
Mr Bailey said the family had been buying Shirlee Downs/Dongadilling Poll Dorsets for two years now and had sold their first lot of lambs last week from their first year’s purchase.
Watterson Estate purchased a total of 12 Poll Dorsets from across the stud and flock sections of the catalogue for an average of $1633, while regular volume buyers Hillgate Nominees, York, also purchased 12, for an average of $958.
p Prime SAMM rams
This year the line-up of 70 Prime SAMM sires put up for sale saw a top of $2500 reached and an average of $1181.
The SAMMs clearance was down from the previous sale, but this can be attributed almost entirely to one of the regular volume purchasers buying from the Poll Dorset section this year instead.
It was regular sale attendee and fellow Prime SAMM producer Graham Sutherland, Sandown SAMM stud, Badgingarra, who purchased the $2500 top-priced ram as his sole purchase at the sale.
“He is a very structurally correct animal, with excellent ASBV figures and will be an outcross for our flock,” Mr Sutherland said.
“He was a very good ram.”
The top-priced ram had figures 4.7 PWWT, 1.1 PFAT, 2.1 PEMD and a SAMM index of 124.
The second top price of the Prime SAMM offering was $2100 and this ram was knocked down to TR Major, Muntadgin.
The volume buyer in the Prime SAMM catalogue was regular client, Bond Brothers, Quairading, which purchased a total of eight, to a top of $1300, twice, for an average of $1000.
Northam operation V & S Naughton purchased seven Prime SAMM rams to a top of $1800, and an average of $1057.
Finally repeat purchaser, P & SR Negri, Bruce Rock, left with six Prime SAMMs, to a top of $1800, twice, and an average of $1233.
Shirlee Downs and Dongadilling co-principal Sascha Squiers said they were extremely happy with the sale and very thankful for the support from regular and new clients.
“It is good to see the positivity in the industry at the moment for all sheep growers,” Mr Squiers said.